Camouflage of a Large-tailed Nightjar chick

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 0

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“The Large-tailed Nightjar (Caprimulgus macrurus) is a nocturnal species that will roost during the day. It is a common resident here. Its cryptic plumage can blend really well with leaf litter; helping it to camouflage when it is roosting on the ground with leaf litter. Lesser known is the chick’s ability to camouflage against the plumage of its parent.

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“Encountered this Large-tailed Nightjar with its lone chick recently. They were roosting under shade and cover of some bushes in a well utilised park. They were quite comfortable and allowed some close up photography. Moving around them to explore different angles, it was amazing to experience first-hand the excellent camouflage of the chick when it was snuggled against its parent’s breast.

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“Sharing two images to showcase the chick’s excellent camouflage (both above). If not for the exposed beak of the chick, the downy plumage of the chick proved to be so similar to the adult’s breast that one may not even realise the presence of the chick. The chick was only more obvious when it peered out from the adult’s breast.

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“Sharing another 2 images showing a more exposed chick for comparison against the earlier images (above, below). Finally, a close-up shot to showcase the chick in its full glory (top).”

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Kwong Wai Chong
Singapore
28th March 2016

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